TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - People`s Consultative Assembly (MPR) Chairman Zulkifli Hasan invited all sections of society to emulate and carry forward the struggle of the national heroes, who had fought selflessly for the independence of the Indonesian nation. His statement was delivered while releasing a bouquet of flowers into the sea as part of the Heroes' Day commemoration procession held aboard the KRI Banda Aceh ship that sailed on Damar Besar Island, a group of Thousand Islands, Jakarta.
"Let us continue their struggle," MPR Chair Hasan noted in a press release in Jakarta on Saturday.
During the Heroes' Day commemoration, in which Hasan became a ceremonial inspector, various military units, police, youth organizations, scouts, high school students, community leaders, and families of heroes appeared solemn following the ceremony that began at 8 a.m. local time.
Hasan expressed gratitude that they were able to celebrate Heroes Day smoothly. He further elaborated that during their fight, the heroes never raised questions on religion, ethnicity, and origin.
"All are united for an independent Indonesia," he emphasized.
He remarked that the nation's journey has been long, with Indonesia enjoying 72 years of independence and 20 years of reform. Admittedly, the nation had achieved significant progress, such as the existence of regional autonomy.
"As servants of God, we must be grateful for such things," Hasan noted.
However, admittedly, several records still need further improvement. Hence, the former forestry minister has invited all to reflect on the struggles of heroes, who were sincere in their efforts and struggles.
Hasan said he had paid homage at the tomb of the first governor of East Java Suryo. As the regional head, Suryo chose independence or death while facing the Allied forces that landed in Surabaya and were about to re-colonize. Suryo serves as a guiding light to us all to emulate this courage to maintain independence.
Hasan further cited the example of the figure Agus Salim, who was recognized as the founder of Indonesia's diplomacy. Salim's quote "leading is a way of suffering and serving" should be emulated by all elements of the nation.
"For all that, the heroes need to be remembered," he explained.
As chairperson of the MPR, he congratulated six leaders and their families that had been determined by the government as heroes this year. "Congratulations to the A.R. Baswedan Family, Kasman Singodimedjo, and other families, where loved ones have been designated as national heroes," he stated.
At the friendly event, he reminded that during the political year, the people may have different choices in the election, may also differ in terms of their choice of political parties, but all of them must be stated in the red and white. Hence, Hasan has invited all to become the pioneers of unity.
"If we have short-term thoughts, there will be people, who are injured," he stated.
For him, democracy has become the choice of the nation. Elections are called ordinary and held every five years.
"We are free to be united and sovereign. Now to unite is through the path of democracy and elections," he added.
The commemoration of Heroes' Day, routinely held aboard warships, this time is also marked by an expression of compassion to the families and historical heirs of the victims of the Battle of Aru.